Monday, January 27, 2014

This year's 90-second Newbery entrant: HOLES

Last year if you recall, the most thespian of my three sons (they are all theatrical, but the middle one really lives and breathes it), made a video of E.L. Konigsburg's The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. He was inspired by James Kennedy's 90-second Newbery film festival, which you can read all about HERE. Last year, we all trooped off to the screening at the Multnomah County library main branch, followed by celebratory snacks at Elephant's Delicatessen--a total treat. It was the lure of a return to Elephant's, I believe, which was the impetus of a repeat production.

The boys are now in 5th grade, and I've noticed a diverging between the sexes (cooties!), which will no doubt subside in a couple of years. So, it was an all-male group that descended on me last Monday (MLK Day). Thank goodness for the other parents (a.k.a. the catering crew) who brought meatball sub sandwiches and cookies. Totally saved my bacon.

It was a blustery day, and my videographer fingers swiftly froze. But with some editing, I think the lads can be pleased with the results. (Many minutes and all the subplots hit the cutting room floor.) Mr. Kennedy sent us back a rave review, and we are set to be part of the Portland screening on March the 2nd. (There are showings in Chicago, New York, the Bay Area, and Tacoma as well.)

Here's the finished version:

Thanks for watching!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Slow Start

I admit it--it's been a slow start to the blogging year. Most of this has been because of the necessary recovery from the holidays (at one point my house was full of guests from England--and my mother just left two days ago.) But lest you think it's been nothing but wassail and Downton Abbey, I have to report that I have been reading up a storm--mainly the Cybils middle grade shortlist, and I can't wait to post my reviews on Marvelous Middle Grade Monday once the judges have convened in our conclave and the winner is announced around Valentine's Day.

As for writing, the one goal I have this year is to enjoy my writing more. It's easy to be swept away into worries about 'is this good?'' and 'will I ever be published?' When it becomes more about the product than the process then some of the joy can go out of the writing. I have to remind myself to play.

How has your year started off? I hope January finds you fine and dandy!